Bramwell Piggins (Nanny Piggins no good brother) accidentally gets a job as a giant slayer after eating a fly infested jam tart.
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Hello and welcome to bedtime stories with me, R.A. Spratt
Well this is the 100th episode of the podcast. Which in the universe of podcasting is a big deal.
I said I’d do something to mark this occasion. So what I’m going to do is explain my plans for the podcast going forward.
In my mind 100 isn’t actually the important number. I’m a bit of a numbers nerd and what I’ve been aiming for 104. Because obviously there are 52 weeks in the year, so when I get to 104 I will have done two whole years without missing a week. And to pull that off in these crazy times is something I am proud of.
When I get to 104 I’m going to call that the end of season one. I really should have broken the show up into seasons earlier, but I had no idea what I was doing when I started. Really, I still don’t. It’s amazing how little you have to know to do a podcast.
Now don’t panic about season 1 ending – I will start season 2 straight away. But season 2 is going to be a little bit different.
For season 2, I’m going to read The Peski Kids. It’s an action adventure comedy book with awesome characters who get into ridiculous fights all the time. I wrote and it may or may not be semi-autobiographical. It’s published by Puffin Books Australia. They have kindly said I can make it into a podcast. Anyway,I hope you come to love it as much as I do.
There are 26 chapters in the book, so I was thinking of doing something a bit different. Instead of dropping one episode a week. I’m going to drop 3 shorter one-chapter episodes a week. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
I thought that would be a fun way to do this season because they are chapters of a book, not stand alone stories. I want to roll along through the story quicker so I don’t leave you all hanging for a whole week.
Anyway, that’s the big reveal for season 2.
Until then, there’s this week plus another four episodes of season one to enjoy.
So let’s get stuck in to today’s story.
Valiant Bramwell as told by Nanny Piggins.
‘Did I ever tell you the story about the time my no-good brother Bramwell was accidentally hired as a giant slayer?’ asked Nanny Piggins.
‘Bramwell was a giant-slayer?!’ exclaimed Samantha.
This was a deeply shocking concept because the children all knew that Bramwell Piggins was by far the least talented, laziest, most dishonest, morally bankrupt of all Nanny Piggins, siblings. And she had 13 sisters who were evil geniuses, so to be the most wicked of the lot was quite an achievement. Arguably his only achievement.
‘The last story you told us about Bramwell he was a tailor,’ said Derrick.
‘A terrible tailor who made non-existent clothes for an emperor,’ said Michael.
‘That’s right,’ agreed Nanny Piggins. ‘Bramwell has always excelled at not doing things. But it was actually his career as a tailor, that lead to him being hired as a hit-man to take down a huge violent monster.’
‘You’re going to have to start at the beginning,’ said Samantha.
‘Alright,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘That’s actually a very good place to start because it all began with a jam tart.’
‘Oh goodie,’ said Boris. ‘Will we get to eat jam tarts too?’
‘Yes, if you like,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘I’ll make them while I tell the story. It all began one day when Bramwell was sitting in the workroom of the tailor’s shop.
A proper tailor had hired him just that morning, and this head tailor hadn’t figured out that Bramwell was the most worthless good for nothing employee to have ever lived yet.
So Bramwell was still very pleased with himself for landing a job where he got to sit inside, in a heated room and had access to a break room with free tea and a biscuit jar.
It usually took him about half a day to get fired for incompetence, so he was going to enjoy that half day as much as possible by shoving as many of those biscuits in his face as he could before the head tailor noticed. Bramwell already eaten two thirds of them. Shoving ten in his mouth every time the head tailor dealt with a customer or went to the bathroom.
Anyway, he was sitting at his workbench pretending to be industrious when he noticed something shiny on the floor.
It was a coin.
Bramwell so rarely had cash money. Never being able to hold on to a job for more than half a day, he never got paid. So he was delighted to find some actual money.
It was a bit of an ordeal for him to have to bend over and pick it up. He really did hate exercise in all forms. But he bravely lifted the coin from the ground and discovered that it was a genuine ten cent piece!
Bramwell was very pleased with himself indeed. A jar of free biscuits and ten cents! This was turning out to be the best job he’d ever had. Certainly the best since he’d been fired for tricking that Emperor into walking across the public square in the nudey rudey.
Bramwell was just sitting their blissfully looking at the shiny coin when he heard a voice call out from the street.
‘Jam tarts! Jam tarts for sale! Get them now! Fresh and sticky and sweet! Jam tarts for sale!’
Bramwell’s mouth immediately started watering. He dearly loved a jam tart. He loved tart in all it’s forms. But a tart filled with fruit flavoured sugar was a very fine delight indeed.
‘I thought you didn’t’ approve of fruit,’ Michael reminded his Nanny.
‘It’s all a matter of ratios,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘If you get the ratio of sugar to fruit right. Fruit can be transformed into something delicious. And when you make jam, you combine every kilo of fruit with an entire kilo of sugar. Anything can be redeemed by adding an entire kilo of sugar.
Then when you add pastry to that, which is full of fatty butter, then it totally reforms fruit into a divine culinary sensation.
Anyway, Bramwell leaned out the window and looked about. He soon spotted the woman. She had a big wicker basket full of tarts. The red raspberry jam glistened in the sunshine. He called out to her to come upstairs to the workroom to sell him one.
When she came inside, Bramwell had her lay all the tarts out on the bench so he could pick out the best one. They were all magnificent. He enjoyed making the decision. He measured the size compared the colour and finally made the decision. ‘I’d like them all,’ declared Bramwell. ‘But I’m on a budget. How many can I buy for ten cents?’
‘Ten cents!’ exclaimed the tart seller. She was annoyed she had walked up a staircase for such an impoverished customer. ‘They’re a dollar each.’
‘Oh, I don’t have a dollar,’ said Bramwell. ‘I’ve only got this one coin.’ He held his coin up to show her.
As it turns out the tart seller liked coins too. But she wasn’t going to waste one of her good tarts on Bramwell. She sighed. ‘Alright, I do have a tart that I dropped earlier. It was trodden on by a horse then a dung cart rolled over it.’ She pulled a crushed and dirty looking tart from her pocket. ‘For ten cents I suppose you can have that.’
Bramwell was delighted. A bit of dirt didn’t’bother him. And he didn’t care if the tart was crushed. It would soon be much more crushed when he started chomping on it. So he made the purchase. And the tart seller left.
‘Bramwell set down his tailoring tools, the ones he’d only been pretending to use, and picked up his tart ready to eat it. When suddenly, the head tailor bustled back in.
‘What are you doing?’ asked the head tailor.
‘Eating a tart,’ said Bramwell.
‘Get to work!’ railed the head tailor.
‘I will,’ said Bramwell earnestly. ‘As soon as I finish my tart.
‘No, now!’ yelled aid the boss. ‘Eat your tart later. On your own time.’
Bramwell sadly set down the tart and went back to pretending to work. The tart would wait. He measured things with a tape and stabbed cloth with a needle, and other things he imagined that real tailors did for a full hour … until the boss got up to go to the bathroom.
As soon as the head tailor stepped out, Bramwell turned to his tart.
But it was such a sticky jammy tart that while Bramwell had been busy not working, flies had been drawn to it. They were eating the jam!
Bramwell was horrified. He didn’t want to share. He picked up a magazine he’d secretly been reading under his workbench and whacked the flies. Killing them all instantly. Either through the force of the blow or drowning them in the jam he’d just whacked them in to.
‘He didn’t eat the tart with the dead flies in it did he?’ asked Michael.
‘Of course not,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘He picked the flies out first. And he was very impressed with himself, when he dug all the dead flies out of the sticky jam to discover that with one blow of the magazine he had killed seven flies!’
‘Seven with one blow!’ exclaimed Bramwell. ‘How impressive!’
You see Bramwell so rarely did anything. That this one simple act of insecticide was by far the most impressive thing he had ever actually done. He was deeply proud of himself. He shoved the tart in his mouth.
‘Ew gross,’ said Derrick. ‘That’s so unhygienic.’
‘I know,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘I think Bramwell may well be single handedly responsible form the much maligned image we pigs have for being dirty.
Bramwell was so pleased with himself he actually set to work. He embroidered himself a beautiful jacket with the words ‘I Killed Seven With One Blow’.
When the head tailor finally realised that Bramwell had spent the whole day making himself an embroidered jacket and absolutely none of the work he was supposed to do - he fired Bramwell.
But Bramwell didn’t care. He proudly strode out into the street wearing his new jacket.
When passers by saw it, they couldn’t believe it.
‘You killed seven with one blow?’ they’d asked.
‘My word I did,’ said Bramwell. ‘All dead instantly.’
‘The passers-by were impressed,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘It as a bit of a dull town. Not much happened. So to have a pig walking around boasting about causing multiple deaths was a novelty. Word soon spread. And very soon the king heard about it.’
‘A king?’ said Samantha.
Yes, towns that still have tailors and roving jam tart sellers always have kings,’ explained Nanny Piggins. ‘And it just so happened that this king had a nasty problem. You see the kingdom was at this time being plagued by a giant.’
‘A real giant?’ asked Derrick.
‘Yes of course,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘What other kind of giant is there?’
‘I don’t know,’ admitted Derrick. ‘But sometimes you tell us stories where the people, we thought were people, were actually pigs or sometimes goats. So I thought I’d better check.’
‘Well this giant was a real giant,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘A great big man who was as tall as a church tower. He had big muscly arms and nasty yellow teeth. And he had been going about the kingdom knocking down building and eating all the food he could find inside the rubble. The king had to put a stop to it. So he called for Bramwell.
‘Bramwell can’t have been happy about that,’ said Derrick.
‘Oh no, Bramwell was very happy to pay a visit to the king,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘Kings always have cake in their castles, so you should never turn down an invitation.
When he strode into the throne room Bramwell was still wearing his jacket with the words ‘I killed seven with one blow’ sewn into the front in big letters.
‘So it’s true,’ exclaimed the King. ‘You are the valiant slayer of seven in one blow’
‘I am indeed,’ said Bramwell. He wasn’t really paying attention, he was looking about to see if there was any cake lying around.
‘Thank goodness,’ said the king. ‘If you can kill seven in one blow, then it won’t be any trouble for you to kill just one giant.’
‘No trouble at all,’ said Bramwell. Still not really listening.
‘Thank you, thank you,’ said the king. ‘As your reward I will give you the highest prize.’
‘A cake?’ asked Bramwell, his head snapping around. Talk of prizes had caught his attention.
The king laughed. ‘I think I can do better than that.’
‘Better than cake?’ marvelled Brawmell. ‘Then I’m in. I’ll do whatever you want! ‘
So the king had his men march Bramwell out to the forest to where the giant lived.
‘At what point did Bramwell realise he was going to have to confront an angry giant?’ asked Derrick.
‘Well the soldiers explained it on the way,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘But Bramwell for all his faults is a very optimistic pig. He would never dream of confessing that there had been a misunderstanding. Or explaining that what they wanted was way beyond his capabilities.
Not when there was a very good chance that he could just duck into the forest and sneak away. So when the soldiers left Bramwell at the treeline (they were too frightened to go in themselves), he walked away fully intending to skirt around the outside of the woods, and sneak over to the next town and live under an assumed identity perhaps wearing a fake moustache for a year or two.
But Bramwell hadn’t got far when the forest became very thick. It was hard to see because there was so little sunlight under the canopy of leaves.
Bramwell was stumbling over rocks and tree roots along the path, when all of a sudden his shin hit something bigger and he toppled head over heels.
In the dim light Bramwell thought he had fallen over a log, but as he peered at the shape he realised that the large log was in fact - a massive leg, that was attached to a massive body, with massive arms and a massive head. It was - a sleeping giant! Who, having been kicked in the shin, was now waking up.
‘Fee fi fo fich,’ said the giant. ‘I smell a yummy bacon sandwich.’
‘I’m not a bacon sandwich,’ protested Bramwell.
‘You will be after I cook you and put you between two slices of bread,’ said the giant.
‘Aaaaagggghhh,’ said Bramwell, with which he leapt to his trotters and took off running back the way he came. The giant following in fast pursuit.
Now, as you know from previous stories. Bramwell is by far the least talented member of the Piggins family. His only remarkable ability is – his ability to run away in fear. He is exceptional at that. So even though the giant had great long legs and big strong muscles, Bramwell was able to stay ahead of him.
‘Slow down and let me eat you,’ bellowed the giant.
‘I will not,’ Bramwell called back.
‘Just give in and be my dinner,’ called the giant. ‘All this running is giving me a stitch and ruining my appetite.’
‘That’s not my problem,’ said Bramwell.
‘You’d better taste good,’ after putting me to all this trouble,’ yelled the giant.
Bramwell just ran harder.
‘Oww, my chest,’ cried the giant. ‘Can’t breath.’
Suddenly behind Bramwell there was an almighty thud.
Bramwell stopped and looked back. The giant was lying face first on the ground. Bramwell went to look closer. Now that he was up close, he could tell that the giant was in fact a very old giant. And, what’s a polite way to put this, had a weight management issue. Combine that with all the high fat food’s he had been stealing and eating across the countryside. It looked like the giant had had a heart attack.
‘That’s so sad,’ said Boris.
‘I know,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘But don’t feel too bad for the giant. He did die doing what he loved most – trying to chase down a bacon sandwich. For a giant that’s a good way to go.’
Anyway, just then the soldiers burst through the trees.
‘You did it!’ cried the captain. ‘We heard the thud as he fell. Well done. You killed the giant.’
‘I did?’ said Bramwell. ‘Yes, I did.’
Bramwell was carried back to the castle by the cheering soldiers. The whole city came out to sing his praises and celebrate his return. Finally they were free of the wicked giant!
The king greeted Bramwell clasping him in an embrace. ‘Thank you,’ he cried. ‘You have saved our city and for that I will give you my most precious prize. The King turned to a doorway, and out stepped a beautiful young woman.’
‘My daughter,’ said the king. ‘For slaying the gaint. I give you my daughter’s hand in marriage.’
The princess looked at Bramwell with tears of joy in her eyes. She was proud to marry a great hero.’
‘Your daughter!’ exclaimed Bramwell. ‘Not cake?’
‘What?’ said the King.
‘You said you would give me something precious,’ said Bramwell. ‘I assumed it would be cake, or chocolate, or a lovely jam tart.’
‘My daughter is precious,’ said the king.
‘Is she made of cake?’ asked Bramwell.
‘No,’ said the King.
‘Does she know how to make cake?’ asked Bramwell.
‘She is a royal princess,’ said the King. ‘She does not cook.’
‘Oh,’ said Bramwell. ‘That’s nice. Really lovely. Can’t wait to get married. But first, I just need to wash my hands. Where’s your little pig’s room?’
‘Over there,’ said the king, pointing to a door down the corridor.
‘Excuse me a moment,’ said Bramwell hurrying out of the throne room.
Everyone watched him go. Then they waited. And waited.
‘He’s just run away hasn’t he,’ said the Princess.
‘Yes,’ said the king. ‘I think so.’
And so Bramwell ran and ran until he got to the next town where he could get a new job and could disappoint another employer in peace. The end. Just then the oven timer pinged.
‘Time for jam tarts! Yummy!’
Thank you for listening. Until next time goodbye.